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Opportunities and constraints for medium-scale organic waste treatment with fly larvae composting.



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*Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Sandec:
Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries, Ueberlandstrasse
133, 8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland
** Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural
Sciences, Box 7032, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
SUMMARY: The use of the black solider fly, Hermetia illucens, for conversion of organic waste
streams into valuable animal protein has become a hot topic in the past decade. Large-scale
protein production facilities treating up to 200 tonnes of waste per day are already in operation,
with focus on protein production. On the other end of the spectrum are decentralised small-scale
household composting systems focusing on waste treatment, motivated by the thought of self-
sufficiency. In the middle of the scale waste management systems treating up to 10 tonnes per
day there is of yet no alternative. There are benefits and constrains, with both large- and small-
scale BSF treatment. However, by combining the advantages of the centralised large-scale
protein production systems with the benefits of decentralised waste management strategies,
many of the constraints can be overcome. In this paper is suggested a semi-centralised BSF-
treatment approach that could bridge the lack of waste management in places current
management strategies have failed. The absence of adequate organic waste management has dire
health implications in low and middle-income countries and serious negative impacts on the
environment all around the world. In semi-centralised BSF treatment, a centralised facility is
used for fly rearingfor the production of small larvae required for the treatment and for the
refinery of the products generated from the treatment (grown larvae and residue). From the
centralised BSF Rearing and Refinery (BSF R2) facility, small larvae are sent to decentralised
waste treatment units located at the place of waste production. The great volume reduction
occurring in the treatment (80-85% on a wet weight basis) greatly reduce the need for
transportation, while the valuable products generated from the treatment (animal protein and
organic fertiliser) renders the treatment an economically viable option for the clients using the
treatment units, while also allowing for business opportunities for waste management
entrepreneurs operating a BSF R2 facility. The flexibility in waste source and amounts possible
to treat with BSF-technology, along with the refining of high-value products and the reduced
need for transportation, can make the semi-centralised BSF-treatment approach a key player in
providing organic waste treatment in areas that today are either completely lacking any service
or that are not adequately treating the organic fraction. This would substantially improve the
health of millions and considerably reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with
poor organic waste management.
Converting organic waste streams into insect protein and organic fertiliser with the larvae of
the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, has become a hot topic over the past decade (Makkar et
al., 2014; UNEP, 2010). Large scale treatment facilities, designed to treat up to 200 tonnes of
organic material per day have been built in places such as the Netherlands, Canada, South
Africa, China and USA. On the other end of the spectrum there is a vast number of households,
private chicken farmers and hobbyists operating black soldier fly (BSF) composting for personal
use (Olivier & Hyman, 2011). This leaves a gap in the market for medium-scale BSF treatment,
serving a local market. This is of great interest given the high share of organic material in the
waste streams especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and the growing
demand for locally produced animal feed. As such, BSF technology could provide an
opportunity for local entrepreneurs, serving not only the aforementioned demands but also
creating employment (Diener et al., 2011). The objective of this paper is to present a possible
business approach which combines the advantages of centralised protein production using BSF
with the benefits of decentralised waste management occurring at the neighbourhood or
household level.
Larvae of the black soldier fly feed on decaying organic matter. In nature this can range from
rotting fruits over manure and human faeces to carcasses (Booram et al., 1977; Bradley, 1930;
Dunn, 1916; Jirón & Solano, 1988). Their voracity can thus be harnessed to convert the organic
fraction of waste into larval biomass. Larvae, provided a suitable feed source and adequate
temperature, develop into the final larval stage (prepupae) within two to three weeks. They
consist of ~35% protein and ~30% crude fat (Diener et al., 2009; Li et al., 2011; Zhou et al.,
2013). In the process, the waste is reduced 60-80% and turned into larval biomass at a waste-to-
biomass conversion rate of 20% based on dry matter (Diener et al., 2011; Dortmans, 2015). With
constantly increasing prices for fishmeal (index mundi, 2015)today the most common protein
of animal origin in animal feed the production of insect meal has a great potential for
entrepreneurs. In particular the fairly young black soldier fly technology underwent a significant
innovative boost since the turn of the millennium. About a dozen companies have already
started, or are about to start, protein production with BSF and are stating a material input
capacity of 200 to 1,000 tons per day. Large-scale facilities focus on protein production rather
than on waste management. Homogenous and pure input materials such as brewery waste, pre-
consumer food waste, chicken manure, and slaughterhouse waste allow for a controllable and
stable production of high value animal protein. However, competition with biogas or composting
plants can have a negative influence on the availability and thus the price of these resources. The
other extreme of the spectrum regarding the scale is the great variety of household based BSF-
treatment reactors mostly developed and promoted by enthusiastic hobbyists. Designs and gained
experiences are being spread through blogs and discussion forums on the internet. A wide range
of designs of great creativity can be found online (example: The
motivation often comes from the thought of self-sufficiency: the desire of treating one’s own
waste, while producing chicken or fish feed for one’s own animals. Although most of the
individual experiences published on the internet origin from northern countries, the on-site
technologies using BSF are often brought up as a low-tech and low-cost solution when
discussing organic waste management in LMIC where municipal solid waste (MSW) consists up
to 80% of organic material (UN-HABITAT, 2010).
The challenges concerning organic waste handling differ somewhat between LMIC and high-
income countries (HIC), however, similar solutions can still be applied. The difficulties in
providing an accurate level of public waste management service in the urban centres in LMICs
are often attributed to the poor financial status of the managing municipal corporations (Sharholy
et al., 2008). The question is: why are cities in LMIC not drowning in solid waste even when
public services fail? The informal sector takes a great share of the waste management by
diverting valuables from the waste stream, bringing it back in circulation. In Delhi, 150,000
waste pickers divert 25% of the total solid waste (UN-HABITAT, 2010) and in a selected urban
area belonging to Mexico City with 1.7 million inhabitants, the informal waste sector not only
generates an income of USD 12 million per year but also save the municipality USD 2.6 million
for collection services (Medina, 2005). The informal waste business is flourishing but recovery
of waste is limited to sellable recyclables such as glass, metal, paper and plastics. The organic
fraction is still not being recycled, but rather discharged in landfills or in more or less illegal
dumps (Komakech et al., 2014), creating an olfactory nuisance that poses a serious health risk. In
HIC the solid waste is collected to a great extend (>76%); albeit the degree and selection of
treatment differ greatly between countries. The solid waste comprise on average to 28% of
organic material in HIC; 70% of the solid waste is landfilled in Australia, 26% in Norway and
66% in Ireland, while nearly no solid waste is landfilled in Japan, Sweden and Switzerland
(Hoornweg & Bhada-Tata, 2012). The organic waste fraction comprise of food-, garden- and
market waste, and also to a greater or lesser extend different animal manures (Asomani-Boateng
& Haight, 1999). Animal manures are a source of pathogenic bacteria, virus and parasites (Pell,
1997), while rodents and flies, known vectors of disease transmission, are attracted to rotting
food and manures. In conjunction to the health risk associated with inadequate organic waste
management, major environmental issues can be expected: an increased green-house gas
emissions from partially anaerobic decomposition of organic material (UNEP, 2010) and
eutrophication of water bodies as the nutrients contained in the organic fraction leach out
(Sharpley et al., 1994). The health related impacts are greater in LMIC, where a great proportion
of the organic fraction of the waste is discharged untreated in urban environment where many
people move around (Komakech et al., 2014), while the negative environmental impacts are of
great concern in LMIC as well as in HIC (Hoornweg & Bhada-Tata, 2012).
With a technology at hand which turns the organic fraction of municipal solid waste into
valuable products, its collection will become more attractive. Precondition will be, just as it is
with other recyclables, a reliable purchaser and an attractive price. However, unlike plastic or
paper, organic waste cannot be stored until a large bulk for shipping has accumulated or until the
reselling price is right. The putridness of the material along with the risk of disease transmission
requires prompt processing and treatment. The collected waste needs thus either to be treated on
spot or has to be moved to the centralised treatment site daily.
Decentralised municipal organic waste treatment using BSF thus have the potential to
incentivise collection and treatment of municipal organic waste, which could contribute to
improved health-related quality of life in LMIC, and greatly reduce the negative environmental
impact of poor organic waste management.
Five key attributes make BSF-technology an attractive treatment option for organic waste:
I) A waste reduction up to 80% on wet weight basis have been demonstrated (Dortmans,
2015). If applied locally, costs for waste transport and space requirements for landfills can thus
be reduced drastically. It could furthermore reduce the risk for open dumps that often appear in
LMIC. While the material is reduced, most nutrients contained in the organic waste (apart from
nitrogen that is partially evaporated) remain in the residues, which can be seen as a concentrated
organic fertiliser, simplifying the recycling of plant nutrients from the organic waste back to
arable land (Lalander et al., 2015).
II) At the same time the biomass is being converted into high quality animal protein, an
important resource for local chicken and fish farmers. In Kampala, Uganda, for example,
chicken farmers, as result of limited trust in the feed industry and the quality of their products,
buy small dried fish on the market and, after grinding, mix it together with grains to produce
their own feed (Diener et al., 2014).
III) A high waste-to-biomass conversion rate of up to 23% on wet weight basis (Banks et al.,
2014) has been demonstrated, which would results in a satisfactory output quantity even for
medium waste quantities.
IV) The technology has been proved to inactivate zoonotic bacteria such as Salmonella spp.
(Lalander et al., 2013). That means that the risk of disease transmission between animals and
between animals and humans is reduced if using this technology on farm level or when treating
waste of animal origin in general (e.g. chicken manure or slaughterhouse waste).
V) As from a socio-economic point of view, given a suitable waste collection scheme, the
locally operated BSF treatment facility could act as a collection point for the informal waste
collection sector. Similar to middle men of plastic or glass recycling, the operator of a BSF
treatment facility may buy organic waste from either waste pickers or from farmers, thus
generating an income while at the same time reducing negative environmental impact of
inadequate organic waste and manure management (UN-HABITAT, 2010).
Besides their beneficial aspects, both, the BSF-driven centralised large-scale protein
production and the decentralised waste treatment BSF-technologies are facing obstacles when it
comes to handling organic waste (Table 1).
Table 1: Large-scale BSF production versus on-site BSF treatment systems
Centralised BSF production:
Industrial scale, processing several tons of homogenous waste per day with focus on protein production.
Homogeneous waste source guarantees steady
operational conditions
Economy of scale
Specialised in-house know how
Big quantities of products allows supply contracts
with animal feed industry
Professional quality control
Emissions can be centrally controlled
Competition for pure waste sources with other
processes (e.g. biogas) increases price for the raw
Large investment needed
Conveyance of large quantities results in high
transportation costs
Little flexibility to adapt the process if waste
source or market changes.
Decentralised stand-alone waste treatment with BSF:
Household or neighbourhood facilities, processing up to 100 kilograms of mixed waste per day with focus on
waste treatment.
Waste is for free
Waste can be treated where it is produced
Allowing for waste treatment in areas hard to access
(urban slum areas, rural farms)
Short transport ways for bulky material
Can react to demographic change with multiplication
Technology and operational procedures adapt to the
local context (waste characteristics, market for
Requires waste segregation at source and/or sorting
before treatment
Low degree of efficiency or even risk of system
failure due to unskilled personnel
No established and guaranteed market for products
Little product quality control
Little control over hygiene standards
A business model which combines the advantages of the industrial BSF systems with the
flexibility and waste treatment potential of the decentralised BSF facilities could contribute both
to local economic growth and wide-ranging organic waste management.
A segregation of tasks seems promising: operation of a centralised BSF Rearing and Refinery
(BSF R2) facility serving a number of decentralised, robust treatment units may facilitate the
uptake of the BSF waste treatment technology (Figure 1). The critical processes, where skilled
labour and specialised equipment is needed, are located at the BSF R2 facility. The treatment of
the waste happens where the material is generated, e.g. at a poultry or pig farm, or in a LMIC
perspective, at a collection point where waste pickers deposit their pickings and get paid.
Treatment devices, each capable of treating 200-1,000 kg per day, are dispersed over an area
which is reachable by a courier within a reasonable time. The courier delivers the young larvae
required for the treatment and in return collects the products of the treatment process (grown
larvae and residue). The products are post-processed and prepared for sale at the BSF R2.
Figure 1: Centralised BSF Rearing and Refinery facility with outsourced treatment units
The process requires a high number of young fly larvae to be added to the system and a well-
operated rearing facility is therefore key for a well-functioning BSF-system. Thanks to the scale
of the centralised facility, the fly colony can be operated by skilled workers who react on sudden
fly population fluctuations or outbreaks of diseases. Another advantage of the combined facility
is that the degree of capacity utilisation for the equipment for sanitisation, refining and
packaging of the products is much higher. The investment will thus amortise faster. Furthermore,
with the refinery processes happening under the same roof, quality control can be ensured much
easier following standard protocols and using calibrated checking devices.
The treatment itself is a predictable, hands-on process. Given the right conditions, larvae will
feed on the waste and can be collected after they have done the job. However, there is a risk of
system collapse if the treatment units are not operated adequately. To prevent this, the treatment
devices have to be without frills, robust and have to come with clear and simple instructions for
operation and maintenance.
The treatment can be located wherever a client accumulates waste on a regular basis; be it a
chicken farmer, a restaurant or a small entrepreneur who collects organic waste for this purpose
alone. By outsourcing the treatment, a great share of the transport costs can be cut. Material
treated with larvae of the black soldier fly is being reduced by up to 80% on wet weight basis:
1,000 kg of organic material is thus converted into 200 kg of residue and 200 kg of larval
biomass; transportation can thus be reduced by 60%.
There are several possible scenarios regarding ownership of the treatment device(s) and who
is responsible for operation, maintenance and harvest. Depending on the skills and needs of a
client, the treatment device can be bought or hired from the company who runs the BSF R2
facility. Operation should be up to the client itself but certain maintenance tasks could be part of
a service contract. The quality and quantity depends on the input waste material, but also on the
operation of the treatment unit. A purchase commitment for the products should thus be linked to
a certain minimum quality requirement.
Establishing a semi-centralised BSF treatment operation requires:
development of a robust treatment unit which withstands mal-operation and which can
cope with extreme environmental conditions (i.e. temperature and moisture);
build-up of a healthy fly colony, able to generate sufficient larvae on a regular basis;
develop and evaluate different business models for context-specific optimisation of semi-
centralised BSF treatment;
assessment of different logistics models for larvae distribution and product collection to
identify the limiting factors.
However, successful projects need to be flexible in design, adaptable and operational in ways
that best meet current social, economic and environmental conditions, which are also likely to
change over time and vary depending on the geographic area of the project (Zurbrügg et al.,
With the conversion of organic waste into valuable products, the flexible scalability and the
reduced need for transportation; semi-centralised BSF-technology has the potential to play a key
role in improving the health conditions of many in LMIC and reducing the negative
environmental impact of inadequate or insufficient organic waste management in LMIC as well
as HIC. Due to the great plasticity in source and amounts of waste possible to treat, the BSF-
technology can serve and benefit a public toilet entrepreneur in a bustling urban centre of an
African city, a medium-scale pig-producer operating in a rural area of North America and an
organic waste manager in an Asian food market.
The work presented here was realised within the Eco-Innovera program SPROUT¸ funded by
BAFU (Switzerland), FORMAS (Sweden) and Pacovis AG.
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... Therefore, homogenous and pure input materials such as brewery waste, food waste or chicken manure, are required to allow a controllable and stable production of high value animal protein. However, competition with biogas or composting plants can have a negative influence on the availability and thus the price of these resources (Diener et al., 2015). ...
... According Diener et al. (2015), with a production around 100 Kg of dry maggot meal per month, our system can be classified as a small scale operation plant. Such system, while producing very few maggot meal, and biofertiliser, is far from being economically viable, however, this is just a first step in increasing the production, and mastering the technology involved. ...
... Such system, while producing very few maggot meal, and biofertiliser, is far from being economically viable, however, this is just a first step in increasing the production, and mastering the technology involved. While large scale, centralised, BSF factories (treating up to 200 tonnes of waste per day, according to Diener et al., 2015) can produce a steady quality and production of maggot meal and disserve feed to international feed companies, they require large investments, and have a lower flexibility in adaptation if a waste source (or market) changes. A small to medium operation process can, on the contrary, deal with local waste management issues, be more adaptable, provide local employment, and can deserve local feed and fertiliser markets. ...
Full-text available
The aquafeed industry is highly dependent on fishmeal (FM) and high-protein plant substitutes. Rising costs and sustainability concerns are fueling the search for novel alternatives. Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae (Hermetia illucens) have been demonstrated to be a potential new source of sustainable protein. While they can be grown on a wide range of waste-substrates, have a short life-cycle, and a favourable nutritional profile, they can be seen as a credible candidate. In this thesis, we focused on the selection of a potential substrate in a local context, and the type of larval stage to harvest in order to optimise both production and quality of the maggot meal (MM). From these preliminary studies fruit waste were selected to grow the larvae, harvested at the “white larvae” stage to produce the MM. As the availability of MM is yet –far- from being sufficient to cover the ever-growing demand for aquafeed, a strategic use was decided in contextualised and commercially-relevant researches. In large-scale tilapia farm, all-male production is desired to optimise the production as they grow bigger and faster than females. To do so 17α-methyltestosterone is added to the feed during the first 21 days of the fry. To maximize the ingestion, low quantities but high quality feed are required. In this context, the MM was used as a feed-hormone carrier for tilapia fry (Oreochromis niloticus) in two experiments. Whereby the first was based on simple substitution of fish meal (FM) and commercial feed with MM (Chapter 5), the second compared 12 isoenergetic and isoproteic formulated feeds based on a prior MM digestibility analysis (Chapter 6). Results indicated that different dietary inclusions of MM did not significantly affect sex reversal rates nor fish production performance, suggesting that MM offers potential as a locally sourced feed ingredient for tilapia hatchery. This strategic application is further enhanced by the potential to co-located MM and fry-production offering producers’ greater ability to manage quality assurance.
... Although, farming of black soldier fly larvae shows broad potential throughout the world, no more detail of experiments was so far conducted in utilizing frass black soldier fly larvae as a bio-fertilizer [17]. The use of insect black soldier fly frass as organic fertilizer is a relatively a new concept. ...
... Insects have been huge successful in terms of both species' richness and abundance [41]. The management of organic waste streams, such as food or green waste but also waste (feces) is considered global challenges [17]. The farming of insects may play a significant role in tackling these challenges through the utilization of organic waste streams as a substrate for insects [5]. ...
... The farming of insects may play a significant role in tackling these challenges through the utilization of organic waste streams as a substrate for insects [5]. Insect farming can be achieved without neither sophisticated technology nor high capital investments, making it not only a viable option for many subsistence farmers throughout the world but furthermore a potentially sustainable financial income source [17]. Insect rearing is expected to dramatically increase during the next few years, and this will be associated with generating high quantities of frass (insect excreta). ...
Food insecurity throughout Sub-Saharan African countries is a common problem and needs a sustainable solution to improve crop yield production, rather than agricultural area expansion. Vegetables are important in sustaining the livelihood of many small-scale and subsistence farmers throughout Sub-Saharan African and contain vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids, none has cholesterol and most are low in fat and calories. Vegetables also high in fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy. Vegetable production in Sub-Saharan Africa faces numerous agronomic constraints that will have to be overcome to feed the increasing population and to fight malnutrition. Major areas on the continent consequently experience nutrient limitation as a major yield gap component, especially in densely populated areas. Now a day one possible solution may come from insect farming, a growing industry with broad potential. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L) feces (frass) may have great potential as a valuable organic bio-fertilizer by positively affecting soil fertility and ultimately vegetable yields. However, the understanding of this positive effect of frass is still limited in our community and very few researchers are trying to determine the effects of this bio-fertilizer on vegetable growth and soil fertility amendment and to explore the utilization of this waste product as a novel organic bio-fertilizer. As nitrogen and phosphorus uptake observed in plots treated with black soldier fly frass fertilizer compared to plots treated with the commercial organic and mineral fertilizers could be attributed to better supply and availability of nutrients from the newly introduced frass fertilize. Clearly black soldier fly frass fertilizer performed better than commercial and inorganic fertilizer. Therefore, further study and awareness creation should be conducted to promote the feasibility of black soldier fly frass bio-fertilizer application in vegetable production and its role in soil fertility amendment.
... A small-scale farm does not have the necessary equipment and facilities to produce an output of magnitudes from large-scale farms. Large-scale farms usually have established and guaranteed markets for products and allows for easy business partnerships with other industries that thrive on the BSF rearing industry such as the animal feed industry [53]. Nonetheless, large-scale BSF farms have drawbacks, in which there needs a large capital or investment before it can be set up. ...
... Nonetheless, large-scale BSF farms have drawbacks, in which there needs a large capital or investment before it can be set up. A larger farm will also result in greater difficulty of quality control (which diminishes the criteria for BSF larvae research) and more environmental pollution/hygienic issues [53]. It has been noted that success in small-scale farms does not necessarily translate to the same outcome in large-scale farms. ...
Background Throughout the world, food wastage issues continue to plague almost every country. Multiple ideas and solutions have been conceived and are continuously being tested by scientists and government bodies to mitigate food waste management issues. Black Soldier Fly (BSF) rearing is an up-and-coming commodity because of its versatility and multi-function purposes in various fields, such as food waste management, animal feed industry and bioactive compounds industry. Methods This work looks at setting up an automated smart farming system to rear BSF, with the help of implementing the Internet-of-Things (IoT) into the monitoring system. It also entails a guide on a possible design of a home-based Black-Soldier-Fly smart farm, where the Internet-of-Things components such as sensors, relays, and mobile applications are showcased. Finally, the prospects and challenges that arise with Black-Soldier-Fly smart farming can be identified and discussed. Significant findings Important growth factors such as temperature, light and pH can be monitored remotely by Internet-of-Things technology. Through IoT implementation, the farm can be remotely controlled and growth parameters can be adjusted with ease. Hence, this would lead to the efficient production of BSF larvae for processing food waste or conversion to bioactive compounds.
... Correct handling of MSW is a major issue in Pakistan (Korai et al., 2017). Existing BSF bio-waste processing facilities indicate that they are financially sustainable when processing several tonnes to several hundred tonnes of bio-waste per day with a high process performance (AgriProtein, 2018;Diener et al., 2015;Protix, 2018). Since BSFL treatment reduces the amount of biological waste, the concentration of heavy metals in the residue may limit its application as a soil conditioner or compost. ...
The current waste treatment techniques in developing countries do not meet the standards of appropriate waste management systems. Poor waste management leads to serious environmental issues at the local and global levels, for which an effective and sustainable waste disposal system is in urgent need. Due to its proven waste degradation and biotransformation capabilities, the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) provides a potential and economical alternative to recycling biological waste. The current study investigated the interactions between municipal and organic waste with the help of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) as a growing medium for substrate culture by comparing the physicochemical parameters of waste before and after BSFL treatment of municipal and organic waste. The study results revealed that BSFL can improve the quality of the final product and promote the degradation of organic waste, although BSFL cannot effectively directly degrade municipal solid waste, it can reduce municipal solid waste by efficiently degrading organic waste. The optimal environmental conditions for BSFL breeding and growth was summarized in this study, and the environmental conditions of four seasons of four representative cities in different location of Pakistan were collected and analyzed. The most suitable cities for the development of the BSFL waste treatment system were first inferred, which makes basic research for developing an economical and feasible waste treatment system in Pakistan. A comprehensive legal framework regarding integrated MSW management systems should be introduced and implemented in Pakistan, including that local municipal authorities should collect the waste collection fee.
... Protein is one of the most prominent bioconversion products that can be produced from organic waste by insects. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae ingest on various organic materials including damp grains, animal wastes, decaying fruits and vegetables and other organic materials, reducing up to 80% from the original volume (Diener et al., 2015;Sandec, 2017;Mertenat et al., 2019). ...
... dry matter) ( Barragan-Fonseca et al., 2018). Black soldier fly larvae are able to reduce organic waste up to 80% (on wet weight basis) (Diener et al., 2015). ...
Aim: To determine the variability of black soldier fly larvae treatment in comparison to different sources of substrates with an emphasis on protein and carbohydrate with regards to black soldier fly larvae growth and the physico-chemical characteristics of the final compost. Methodology: The study comprised of an experimental setup, sample preparation of synthetic food waste (protein and carbohydrate source), physico-chemical and nutrients laboratory test and analysis of data. Results: The results showed that larvae that compost protein food sources are likely to be bigger than larvae that compost carbohydrate food sources. From the laboratory results, the amount of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and C/N ratio content of protein source compost were 266.1 µg g-1, 204.3 µg g-1, 28.6 µg g-1 and 0.51 µg g-1 respectively. Whereas, the physico-chemical results for the carbohydrate source compost were 55.1 µg g-1, 20.5 µg g-1, 2.3 µg g-1 and 3.33 µg g-1 respectively. Interpretation: Black soldier fly larvae prefer to accumulate protein food residues rather than carbohydrate food residues, thus emphasizing that protein content is vital for their growth. The increase in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium for black soldier fly larvae yield compost can potentially produce organic solid fertilizer for farming and agricultural industries. The unfavourable nutrients from food waste is considered to be a significant factor that can affect the development, production and efficiency of life stage of composting black soldier fly larvae.
... Recently, investigations have been conducted on renewable biodiesel production from lipids of the BSF larvae (Cičková et al. 2015, Li et al. 2015, and the residue byproduct after BSF culturing can be adopted as bio-fertilizer (Zheng et al. 2012). Lastly, insect-based feed production technologies at low cost propose the potential to allocate employment opportunities and livelihood improvement for both farmers and urban entrepreneurs (Diener et al. 2015). ...
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Molecular identification and life cycle of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens were carried out from the Bangladesh bio-geographical area. The sequencing result and phylogenetic analysis of BSF showed 99-100% similarity with H. illucens from GenBank. The average duration of life cycle of male and female were 45.08±4.46d and 46.15± 4.12d respectively. The adult female is 16.3±0.91mm long, whereas the adult male is 14.30±0.19 mm long and smaller than female. The number of eggs per clutch was 537.37±40.21 which hatched in 4.36±0.24 days. The mean duration of the developmental stages were 16.07±2.59, 15.4±2.50, 9.95±1.48 and 10.33±1.89 d for larva, pupa, male and female respectively, when cultured at 29.40±1.77° C, RH 68.25±2.32 %, 14:10 (L: D) photoperiod. The mature larval weight (0.20±0.03 g) was highest among other developmental stages. Bangladesh J. Zool. 48(2): 429-440, 2020
... Larval lipid is stored in its body to be used during the non-feeding period of the larval lifecycle [9,18]. Among the various insect species such as flesh fly, superworm, mealworm beetle, housefly, latrine blowfly, soldier fly, and ants, Hermetia illucens larvae, or black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), are commonly selected for producing biodiesel since BSFL can valorize a variety of organic wastes; contain a high level of lipid content (around 50%); the adults are not a pest; they can cope with a wide range of environmental conditions, e.g., pH, temperature, and humidity; and they need less workforce for mass rearing [19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]. The fatty acid profile from BSFL lipid had been found mainly comprising of C12:0 (38.43 wt%), C16:1 (15.71 wt%), and C14:0 (12.33 wt%), which are the essential compositions in biodiesel. ...
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Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) have been employed for valorizing organic waste materials as the larvae are able to consume organic waste and transform it into valuable larval biomass. In this study, BSFL were found to potentially reduce blended sewage sludge. The addition of palm kernel expeller (PKE) fortified the protein and lipid content in blended sewage sludge substrates, leading to larval growth enhancement. In addition, the larval weight also influenced the lipid yield and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profile. However, the optimum ratio of sewage sludge to PKE had to be determined as excess PKE content could become a threat to larval growth by contributing to the reduction of non-fiber carbohydrates content in the feed, thereby resulting in the decrease in lipid yield and FAME content. In this work, a sewage sludge to PKE ratio of 2:3 proffered the highest larval weight gained at 46.99 ± 2.09 mg/larva. Meanwhile, a proportion of 3:2 of sewage sludge to PKE was able provide the highest lipid yield of 17 ± 1.77%. Furthermore, the FAME profile revealed the presence of a significant amount of saturated and monosaturated fatty acids, indicating a good quality biodiesel. Thus, BSFL-based biodiesel fed with blended sewage sludge and PKE could be utilized for producing a high quality biodiesel. However, further improvement on the amount of lipid yield and FAME content should be further investigated.
Malaysia like many other developing countries is facing the challenge of poor waste management. This research was conducted to determine the effect of black soldier fly (BSF) in decomposing food waste, palm oil waste, fish waste and yard waste. The development time and waste reduction efficiency of four different organic materials were evaluated. In this study, BSF larvae were fed with all four types of waste at five feeding rates of 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, 1.50 and 2.00 g larva−1 day−1 with three replicates per feeding rate until the larvae reached the pre-pupae stage. During the study, larval development time, larval mortality, pre-pupae weight and waste reduction indexes (WRI) were determined. Food waste and yard waste achieved the highest WRI of 4.43 ± 0.06 and 0.71 ± 0.01, respectively at the feeding rate of 0.50 g larva−1 day−1 while palm oil waste and fish waste attained the highest WRI values at feeding rates of 1.00 g larva−1 day−1 (1.89 ± 0.02) and 0.25 g larva−1 day−1 (3.75 ± 0.24), respectively. The results showed that both variables significantly influenced the bioconversion process, but waste reduction efficiency was the most influential element.
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This 138-paged book highlights the opportunity for the inclusion of insects into animal feed for livestock, pets, aquaculture and exotics. It also details the challenges which still need to be overcome to enable the global establishment of insect farming as a profitable and sustainable source of feed ingredients. The aim is to provide information to enable all interested parties to evaluate use of insects as feed ingredients as a revenue stream, as a contributor to global sustainability or as a topic for further academic study or engineering challenge. Researchers, legislators, potential producers and investors, nutritionists, veterinarians as well as environmental and social campaigners will all find material in these pages to inform and interest as well as intrigue them.
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The recycling of organic waste worldwide is not effective, which leads to water pollution and loss of potential crop fertilizers. Available resources have to be used more efficiently as the world population increases. An innovative solution is to use insects for the management of organic waste. Here, we used black soldier fly to convert organic waste into animal feed protein, as fly larvae, and plant fertilizer, as compost residue. A continuous fly reactor was monitored for 9 weeks. We analyzed physicochemical and microbial param-eters, and we evaluated the sanitary risk. Results show 55.1 % of material degradation and 11.8 % of biomass conversion based upon total solids. We observed higher levels of N and P in the treatment residue than in the inflow material. Results also show a lower concentration of Salmonella spp. and viruses. Compost treatment with black soldier fly is therefore an efficient system for nutrient recycling.
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A 60-70% increase in consumption of animal products is expected by 2050. This increase in the consumption will demand enormous resources, the feed being the most challenging because of the limited availability of natural resources, ongoing climatic changes and food-feed-fuel competition. The costs of conventional feed resources such as soymeal and fishmeal are very high and moreover their availability in the future will be limited. Insect rearing could be a part of the solutions. Although some studies have been conducted on evaluation of insects, insect larvae or insect meals as an ingredient in the diets of some animal species, this field is in infancy. Here we collate, synthesize and discuss the available information on five major insect species studied with respect to evaluation of their products as animal feed. The nutritional quality of black soldier fly larvae, the house fly maggots, mealworm, locusts-grasshoppers-crickets, and silkworm meal and their use as a replacement of soymeal and fishmeal in the diets of poultry, pigs, fish species and ruminants are discussed. The crude protein contents of these alternate resources are high: 42 to 63% and so are the lipid contents (up to 36% oil), which could possibly be extracted and used for various applications including biodiesel production. Unsaturated fatty acid concentrations are high in housefly maggot meal, mealworm and house cricket (60-70%), while their concentrations in black soldier fly larvae are lowest (19-37%). The studies have confirmed that palatability of these alternate feeds to animals is good and they can replace 25 to 100% of soymeal or fishmeal depending on the animal species. Except silkworm meal other insect meals are deficient in methionine and lysine and their supplementation in the diet can enhance both the performance of the animals and the soymeal and fishmeal replacement rates. Most insect meals are deficient in Ca and its supplementation in the diet is also required, especially for growing animals and laying hens. The levels of Ca and fatty acids in insect meals can be enhanced by manipulation of the substrate on which insects are reared. The paper also presents future areas of research. The information synthesized is expected to open new avenues for a large scale use of insect products as animal feed.
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There is currently a lack of access to affordable sanitation in urban areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. This study evaluated the potential for resource recovery from innovative faecal sludge treatment processes to generate a profit that could help sustain the sanitation service chain. A total of 242 interviews were conducted in Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; and Kampala, Uganda to compare markets in different cultural and regional contexts. Products identified to have potential market value include dry sludge as a fuel for combustion, biogas from anaerobic digestion, protein derived from sludge processing as animal feed, sludge as a component in building materials, and sludge as a soil conditioner. The market demand and potential revenue varied from city to city based on factors such as sludge characteristics, existing markets, local and regional industrial sectors, subsidies, and locally available materials. Use as a soil conditioner, which has been the most common end use of treated sludge, was not as profitable as other end uses. These findings should help policy and decision makers of sanitation service provision to design financially viable management systems based on resource recovery options. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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Black soldier flies, Hermetia illucens L., are distributed throughout the temperate and tropic regions of the world and are known an established method for sustainably managing animal wastes. Colonies used to conduct research on the black soldier fly within the past 20 yr have predominately been established from eggs or larvae received from a colony originated from Bacon County, GA. Consequently, little is known about the phenotypic plasticity (i.e., development and waste conversion) across strains from different regions. This study compared the development of three strains of the black soldier fly (Texas; Guangzhou, China; and Wuhan, China) and their ability to reduce dry matter and associated nutrients in swine, dairy, and chicken manure. The Wuhan strain appeared to be more fit. Larvae from Wuhan needed 17.7-29.9% less time to reach the prepupal stage than those from Guangzhou or Texas, respectively. Larvae from Wuhan weighed 14.4-37.0% more than those from Guanghzhou or Texas, respectively. Larvae from the Wuhan strain reduced dry matter 46.0% (swine), 40.1% (dairy), and 48.4% (chicken) more than the Guangzhou strain and 6.9, 7.2, and 7.9% more than the Texas strain. This study demonstrates that phenotypic plasticity (e.g., development and waste conversion) varies across populations of black soldier flies and should be taken into account when selecting and establishing a population as a waste management agent in a given region of the world.
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Unlabelled: In Kampala, Uganda, about 28,000 tons of waste is collected and delivered to a landfill every month. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) records show that this represents approximately 40% of the waste generated in the city. The remaining uncollected waste is normally dumped in unauthorized sites, causing health and environmental problems. However, the organic fraction of domestic waste can provide an opportunity to improve livelihoods and incomes through fertilizer and energy production. This study characterized the municipal waste generated in Kampala and delivered to Kiteezi landfill between July 2011 and June 2012, that is, covering the dry and wet months. On each sampling day, waste was randomly selected from five trucks, sorted and weighed into different physical fractions. Samples of the organic waste from each truck were analyzed for total solids, major nutrients, and energy content. During the wet months, the waste consisted of 88.5% organics, 3.8% soft plastics, 2.8% hard plastics, 2.2% paper, 0.9% glass, 0.7% textiles and leather 0.2% metals, and 1.0% others. During the dry months, the waste consisted of 94.8% organics, 2.4% soft plastics, 1.0% hard plastics, 0.7% papers, 0.3% glass, 0.3% textile and leather, 0.1% metals, and 0.3% others. The organic waste on average had a moisture content of 71.1% and contained 1.89% nitrogen, 0.27% phosphorus, and 1.95% potassium. The waste had an average gross energy content of 17.3 MJ/kg. It was concluded that the organic waste generated can be a suitable source of some plant nutrients that are useful especially in urban agriculture. Implications: The result of the waste characterization in Kampala was found to be significantly different from that obtained for other Sub-Saharan African (SSA) cities, showing that studies assuming average values for the waste fractions are likely to result in erroneous results. Furthermore, no reduction in organic fraction of the waste was noticed when compared with a study done two decades ago in spite of greatly improved economic status of Kampala city, a finding that is not in agreement with several other similar studies done for other SSA cities.
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Inadequate and lacking sanitation and wastewater treatment systems can lead to the spreading of diarrhoeal diseases. One contributing factor in the lack of such treatment systems is the lack of economic incentives for stakeholders throughout the service chain. However, the organic fraction of the waste is high in valuable plant nutrients and could be reused in agriculture and as animal feed. For example, grown larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), make an excellent protein source in animal feed, while the feeding activity of the larvae substantially reduces the dry mass of the treated material. This study examined the effect of black soldier fly larvae on the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms in human faeces and found a 6 log10 reduction in Salmonella spp. in human faeces in eight days, compared with a <2 log10 reduction in the control. No increased reduction was observed for Enterococcus spp., bacteriophage ΦX174 or Ascaris suum ova.
Urban and rural communities in Africa have a long history of composting waste and using it for farming. This paper examines the concept of Waste Reuse Urban Farming (WRUF) as a unique local solution for the municipal solid waste problems of African cities. It analyses the rationale for WRUF, the history, nature and status of traditional urban farming, the constraints of WRUF on urban planning and its implications, and the problems of its implementation. Finally, solutions are suggested to overcome these problems.
To determine the capacity of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) (Hermetia illucens) to convert fresh human faeces into larval biomass under different feeding regimes, and to determine how effective BSFL are as a means of human faecal waste management. Black soldier fly larvae were fed fresh human faeces. The frequency of feeding, number of larvae and feeding ratio were altered to determine their effects on larval growth, prepupal weight, waste reduction, bioconversion and feed conversion rate (FCR). The larvae that were fed a single lump amount of faeces developed into significantly larger larvae and prepupae than those fed incrementally every 2 days; however, the development into pre-pupae took longer. The highest waste reduction was found in the group containing the most larvae, with no difference between feeding regimes. At an estimated 90% pupation rate, the highest bioconversion (16-22%) and lowest, most efficient FCR (2.0-3.3) occurred in groups that contained 10 and 100 larvae, when fed both the lump amount and incremental regime. The prepupal weight, bioconversion and FCR results surpass those from previous studies into BSFL management of swine, chicken manure and municipal organic waste. This suggests that the use of BSFL could provide a solution to the health problems associated with poor sanitation and inadequate human waste management in developing countries.